Tag Archives: euphorbia

SNIPPETS (7-8-18)



Which one should I buy? $24.50 each, so price is not the determining factor.

Mammillaria species


I’m currently cataloging Russel Ray Photos pictures from October 2017. Here are some pictures from the annual Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show here in San Diego in October 2017. The annual air show is said to be the largest air show in the United States.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego


I have spent time in Death Valley National Park in California where the temperature hit 123°F. I have spent time in Palm Springs, California, where the temperature hit 116°F. On July 6, the temperature on my shaded catio reached 112°F, making this the hottest place I have ever lived.



Here is Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying that 112°F on her catio.

Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying her catio

She is looking at the thermometer after I had taken a picture. Perhaps she’s thinking, “That can’t be right.”


Laughter for your Sunday.

When you do the magic trick for dogs

When you do the magic trick for a cockatoo



Don't leave your kids in the car!


I got addicted to cats back in 2006 when a feral black cat came to visit on Thanksgiving. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and left. It returned on Christmas Eve. Hmmmmm. “A cat that knows human holidays,” I thought. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and stayed. Sadly, it got run over by a car on September 20, 2007. We got Zoey the Cool Cat on September 21, 2007.

On July 6, around 8:00 a.m., a feral cat came to visit me while I was working in my cacti & succulents gardens. It was very friendly, but no collar and extraordinarily skinny. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and left. I had Euphorbia sap on my hands at the time, and since I’m quite allergic to that sap, I went inside to wash my hands. By the time I came back out, skinny kitty was gone. I do hope it comes back.

I did get a picture of skinny kitty.

Skinny Kitty


I thought it was “bombs bursting in air,” not “bombs bursting on ground.”

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego


I watched Blade Runner (The Final Cut) the other day. I didn’t like the original Blade Runner back in 1982 when I saw it. I did like it much better this time around, maybe because of those final cuts, but I don’t remember the original that well so I don’t really know. Margaritas were good, though. When was the last time you went to a movie theater that served margaritas?


Out here in the East San Diego County boondocks we don’t have many spiders. I suspect that’s because the billions of lizards eat them. So imagine my excitement when I found a rather large spider while out in my gardens the other day.

Garden spider


I’m not a big fan of posting pictures of surgery scars, blood, etc., online, so I’ll just tell you that this Euphorbia enolpa got me good the other day while I was planting it. And I mean good.

Euphorbia enolpa

I’m quite sensitive to Euphorbia sap, which I discovered back in 1966 when my wise old grandmother made me prune her poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), so in addition to having a very bloody arm, I had a very swollen arm.

Euphorbia sap often sends people to the hospital and has been responsible for a few deaths as well. If you get this white, milky sap on you, wash it off immediately, and certainly don’t touch your eyes, mouth, ears, or nose while you have sap on your hands.

Euphorbia sap also can be very toxic to your dogs and cats.


Something’s quite wrong if your event results in so many lost children that you have to set up a LOST & FOUND CHILDREN center. Either that or there are some seriously delinquent people called “parents” running around.

Lost and found children


I’m also very sensitive to gas, but you and I can’t smell gas when it’s in the parts per billion. Also, if your gas company hasn’t added odor to the gas, you won’t be able to smell it anyway.

If the gas is strong enough, I still might not smell it per sé but I start coughing, wheezing, snorting, hacking, eyes watering. If that happens unexpectedly, I look around for a gas source. Such happened to me a few years ago while sitting outside the LiveScan office waiting my turn to get LiveScanned so I could teach chess in after-school enrichment programs. The LiveScan clerk came to check on me, I sounded that bad. I told her my suspicion since there was a huge gas tank nearby. Here’s the letter I got from them a few days later:

LivesSan letter




I’m sure they specialize in death with dignity.

Death Dealers


Our home with Zoey the Cool Cat is surrounded by three cities, two of them on the smaller suburban size. Both had fireworks on July 4. I couldn’t see them but Zoey the Cool Cat and I certainly heard them. She was not happy. I went to the bedroom and laid down on the bed with her to comfort her, talking to her in a soft, soothing voice and rubbing my hands and head all over her. She was happier but every occasionally there was one of those really loud things and that kept shaking things up for us.

There is such a thing as silent fireworks, and I became a big proponent of them this year.


This was the first year in several decades that I didn’t go somewhere to watch the fireworks on July 4. With Twitler and his ilk destroying everything about the United States—National Parks, EPA, health insurance, families, public education—and the constant lies, I just am not very patriotic right now.


The Bam Boo Inn somewhere in the East San Diego County boondocks.

The Bam Boo Inn


Here’s my latest newsletter creation for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. Lots of links inside to good Facebook groups and YouTube videos that I have created this past month.

July 2018 newsletter for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society


As many times as I have been to The Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens, I had never been to the Desert Garden. It was always so difficult for me to get through the library and art galleries since they are closest to the entrance. On June 29, Jim and I went to The Huntington with my sole goal being to stroll through the Desert Garden. Here’s my video of the stroll:

If you have never been to The Huntington in San Marino, California (east Los Angeles County), put it on your Bucket List. You won’t be disappointed.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Did You Know?—Euphorbia, Datura & Brugmansia

Did you know?

When I was living with my wise old grandmother from 1965-1973, one of my “chores around the house” was pruning the billions and billions and billions of oleanders forming a fence around our property. I hated those things (which is why I have never had oleanders on any of my properties) because I was severely sensitive to oleander sap. I quickly learned to wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and gloves when pruning those blasted things. Hmmm. Deep south Texas and a teenager working outside with long shirts and long pants. Hated it.

Another plant that I am overly sensitive to is actually a plant genus: Euphorbia. Some of you might know that the common Christmas poinsettia is a Euphorbia, Euphorbia pulcherrima. Poinsettias grow year-round here in San Diego and can get about 20 feet tall, making a beautiful statement at Christmas time when they bloom.


Another common plant around our homes is the “Crown of Thorns,” Euphorbia millii.

Crown of Thorns

My wise old grandmother also had poinsettias and crowns of thorns, both planted along the driveway. Well, guess where this tall, skinny dude had his basketball court? Inevitably a missed basket would result in the ball bouncing over to the poinsettias and crowns of thorns, and breaking branches, getting sticky sap all over my basketball. Poinsettias and crowns of thorns were also on my “Never in my own yard” list. Because poinsettias and crowns of thorns are succulents, though, I have had them in my home and on my property simply because I plant them out of the way and forget about them. They can survive on the water that Mother & Father Nature provide them, and since they are out of the way, I don’t have to prune them. The Crown of Thorns picture above is from one of my past gardens.

When I arrived in San Diego in April 1993 and started exploring, I found a plant that grows wild, is very beautiful, and has a heavenly scent, especially at dusk: Datura.



I never saw Datura in a nursery, though. Eventually I found out why. It is very poisonous, especially their flowers and seeds, and people like me can develop a severe skin rash when the milky white sap gets on our skin. Their common name is Devil’s Trumpet.

Related to Datura is a plant that IS found in nurseries although it is just as poisonous: Brugmansia.

The Brugmansia’s common name is Angel’s Trumpet. The Angel’s Trumpet in the picture above is from one of my past gardens. It bloomed year-round, so the scent outside the master bedroom window was out of this world. I think the window was always open at dusk to let the fragrance in.

Brugmansia’s are difficult to find in nurseries and are usually carried by the smaller mom-and-pop nurseries. I recently found a small yellow one that is now outside waiting for me to transfer it from nursery pot to the ground, although the longer it waits, the more I’m thinking about putting it in a large glazed pot.

A side story to Datura and Brugmansia is that if the flowers are boiled in water, they create a “tea” that, when drank, creates a “natural high”—delusional and hallucinogenic euphoria. Sadly, this natural high can paralyze the vocal chords; cause liver failure, dry mouth, blurred vision, and incontinence; and even cause death. About every five years or so, some high school students here in the San Diego area learn the hard way about getting a natural high from these two plants. Animals, especially dogs and cattle, also are affected negatively when they eat the plants.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post